A Year Of... interesting things

Chicken Mofongo and Maduros

This is a 2-for-1 because these two recipes go well together and they both have plantains in common.

Ideally, you would serve the maduros or sautéed sweet plantains as a desert – they are certainly sweet enough to warrant that. We liked them so much that we ate the entire desert while waiting for the mofongo to cook.

Onto the mofongo now. In a whole week of visiting Puerto Rico, I don’t think I ever had a traditional meal that was not both bland and delicious.

It seems weird to say that yet it’s however true. The meals were well balanced, not overly spicy (spice-y not hot) and thus seemingly bland to my more adventurous (or perhaps less discerning) palate. Yet every single one of those meals has been great at that moment in time; just not memorable beyond their surprising blandness/balance.

The mofongo here is no difference - the chicken is tasty but they plantains don’t have enough oomph to add something remarkable to this dish.

Mofongo de Pollo Guisado

In contrast, the maduros are actually pleasantly suprising - it allows the sweetness to shine while the softness of the plantain brings a textural suprise - they’re like a caribbean version of the macaron.


I would totally make the maduros again, but pass on the mofongo.

Recipe - Mofongo de Pollo Guisado

Hands-on time is about an hour, with a total of slightly over 2 hours of cooking time.



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 5 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce


  • 6 green plantains (about 3 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 6 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled (drained) (I would actually add back some of the bacon fat to improve the taste)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided


  1. To prepare chicken, heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
    Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat.
    Add half of chicken; sauté 8 minute or until browned.
    Remove chicken from pan.
    Repeat procedure with 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and remaining chicken.
    Return chicken to pan, stir in onion and next 5 ingredients (through tomato sauce).
    Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until chicken is done.
    Keep warm.
  2. To prepare mofongo, place plantains and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large Dutch oven.
    Cove with water to 1 inch over plantains; stir to dissolve salt.
    Let stand 20 minutes.
    Drain plantains, and return to pan.
    Cove plantain wit water to 1 inch above plantains.
    Bring to a boil over high heat.
    Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until tender.
    Drain plantains; return to pan. Mash plantains with a potato masher. Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, bacon (extra grease), garlic, and broth. Shape plantain mixture into 24 (1/2-inch-thick) patties.
  3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
    Add 2 tablespoons oil to pan; swirl to coat.
    Add 8 patties, cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove from pan. Repeat procedure for the remaining patties.

Serve chicken mixture over pattie.

Serves 12 (serving size 2/3 cup chicken mixture and 2 patties)

Calories: 426

Recipe - Maduros

About 15 minutes. Be mindful that all that sugar will not be great for your pan.


  • 4 cups (1/2-inch-thick) slices black plantains
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter


  1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl, toss well.
  2. Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
    Add plantains and saute 5 minutes or until deeply browned (took me about 10 minutes)

Serves 12

  • Calories: 134;
  • Fat: 18g;
  • Protein: 12g;
  • Carbs: 32g;
  • Fiber: 7g;
  • Cholesterol: 4mg;
  • Sodium: 62mg.
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